Life outside the box
By Anonymous, Mena, AR
Author's note: A friend I met..
Chapter 1 New YorkI looked out her bed room window of her new home. All she could see for miles and miles was city. Also Known as the concrete and city, no wide country side, and no blue sky or green fields. Yay, New York City home of the lonely and confused teenager who moved from a small town to the big city and only knows one person close to my age. Wow if that doesn't sound like a crappy teenage angst story. Well it's so there. You picked up my story and now you have to read it probably because you like to read.
I remember that day so clearly. My dad had been late at work at the office. The roads had been wet that night. His car had careened of the side of the mountain and into a black abyss. The doorbell rang late into the night. Around two AM. I snuck out of my room and tiptoed to the stairs and watched as my mother opened the front door. "Mis.DeSone?" The officer with the salt and pepper hair asked. "Yes." She worriedly replied. They began speaking in hushed tones. Then my mother cried out her hands covered her face and she kept saying over and over. "How do I tell my children? What do I do? Oh god Mike." My heart shattered as I crouched at the top of the stairs. My body felt numb as I slowly moved to my feet. I stepped on the stairs and slowly made my way down. They were sitting on the couch the older officer trying to comfort my mother. The younger looking officer about in his mid-thirties and deep sorrowful brown eyes looked up at me. My mother stood. "Riley..." She started. "No...No it can't be true. It's a bad dream I’m goanna wake up. It can't be.." I began to cry as my knees gave way and the room spun into a mold of colors. "Riley...Riley...Riley can you hear me." I struggled to come back but I just couldn’t. The next morning I heard my mother and the next door neighbor lady talking in hushed tones behind my sleeping form. Mrs. Carson was a doctor. "She just had a panic attack its normal for teenagers in such a high pressure time like this." Mrs. Carson said. "Will she be okay?" My mother asked. She sounded tired, strained, and frantic. "Yes just let her rest. When she wakes try to get her to drink maybe eat a little bit. Vivian I am so sorry for your loss..." Their voices cut off as the door shut behind them. I rolled over and checked the time. Six A.M only four hours when it felt like years. She closed her eyes as the darkness reached out for her again. The next time she woke there was a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Riley." Soft blue eyes looked down at her threw shaggy blonde hair. "Ja...Jason." She whimper threw the fog. "Yeah, I'm here baby sister." I leaned up and buried my face in his neck my body raking with sobs. "Shhh I’m here it's all goanna be okay." He said rubbing small circles on my back. The next week went by in a blur of tears pain and a funeral. Jason and my aunt and uncle stayed with us through it all. Jason hardly ever left my side. Over the next eight months my mom, Austin and I had packed up and moved from our small Colorado town too New York City.
"Riley? Honey." My mother's hand snapped in front of my face bringing me out of my Zoned out state and back to the present of our apartment. "What mom?" I asked mentally shake the clouds and tears from my mind. "I said why don't you go wash up and I’ll put dinner on the table." She said giving me a worried look but didn't push it. I nodded and headed back up the stairs. In the bathroom I washed my hands and face leaning over the sink. Rising back up my eyes met Jason’s. "You okay?" He looked back at me concerned but trying to cover it. He knew I hated when He babied me. "I'm fine just tired that’s all it's a long drive from Colorado to New York City you know." I attempted to play it off but it didn't fool him. "Look Riley if you want talk about it.." He started. "I don’t I talked about it enough and talking won’t bring my dad back it's time to move on." cutting him off in mid-sentence as I grabbed the towel and dried my hands and face. "Whatever just know that I'm here." Jason shoved off from the door and made his way back down the stairs. I looked at myself in the mirror. Green eyes with little gold flex stared back at me. Long black eye lashes and high cheek bones. Slightly tanned complexion with a straight nose and pink lips. Nothing fancy to me. I liked to dance and play volleyball and run so I wasn't over weight but I wasn't one of those skimpy little anorexic girls either. I like my ice cream too much. I had long legs but I wasn't tall just normal. Plane to me i don’t know how I had so many boyfriends. I wasn't popular and my dark sarcastic humor tended to drive people away. Brushing my hair out of my face and pulling my ball cap back on I sighed. "Everything’s gonna be okay this won’t be so bad. It's new York what could possibly happen." I told the mirror image of myself. But the look on my face said I didn’t believe me either.
"Riley...." I felt something tickle my nose. "Riley...wakey wakey" I groaned and rolled over pulling my pillow over my head. "Go away." I grumbled into the mattress. "Time to wake up its past noon." Jason bounced the bed slightly. "Jason if you don’t leave me alone I will hold your head under water till the bubbles stop coming up." I heard no response. The room was silent. What is he doing? I thought to myself. The next thing I know my comfy warm covers were jerked off my body and thrown to the floor. "MMMMMMM NO!" I curled up as the cold air hit my skin. My soffies and tank top provided little protection agents the cool air. The pillow was snatched from my face as the curtains flew open. Sunlight spilled in as I shut my eyes tight. "No, it's sleep time." I growled out at him. "No, it’s time for you to get your lazy butt out of bed and get dressed." Jason replied. "I'm a vampire. Night time good day time bad." I curled up to the head bored. "Get up big butt." He smacked me hard on the butt and grabbed my ankles and pulled. I barley had enough time to grab the head board to keep me on my bed. "Come on Riley getting out in the sunshine and open air and doing some walking will make you feel better." He said through clenched teeth as he pulled my feet. "NO! Just let me lay here in wallow in my own teenage angst and sleep. I’ll break out if I go into the sunlight." I tried to kick him in the side but he held tight to my feet. My hands started to slip and five minutes later I was on the floor. Pulling me by my feet he dragged me down the hall and to the bathroom. Grabbing my wrist he hulled me up and shoved me in. "Now make yourself look pretty and we will head out." Stamping my foot and crossing my arms "I don’t want to look pretty I don’t even know these people. I just want to sleep." I pouted. "Look you get ready and sense your mom took Austin to day care and she went to work I'm goanna keep you occupied all day. Now you go make your hair look like hair and I’ll go make you breakfast." Jason poked my side. "OOOO breakfast...your a charmer." I grumbled. He kissed the top of my head and set off to cook me breakfast. "What does he mean my hair doesn’t look like hair?" I mumbled to myself. Turning to face the mirror I took one look at my curly mass of brown hair and looked on in horror. It looked like birds had built a nest in her hair. Brushing threw her hair she pulled it in to a ponytail. Throwing on some makeup and a pair of jeans with my black tank and my cardinals cap back on I looked cute in a sporty kind of way. Well this is as good as it gets for today Dixie girl. The dog raised her head at the sound of her name. She stood and nudged my leg gently out the door. "I'm going I'm going gosh you and Jason are so pushy."
"Hot dogs! Get your New York style hot dogs right here. "Street venders’ horns honking. Jason took in a deep breath. "Ah Riley your goanna love it here. Smell that New York big city air?" "It smells like death...and hobos but mostly death." I grumbled. He laughed. "You’re so morbid little cousin." He slung his arm around my shoulder as we passed by row after row of stores. I sighed and leaned into him. Cutting his eyes to me and watching me carefully. "Smile Malenʹkaya printsessa." Witch mint little princess in Russian. The nick-name my father use to call me. A tight smile formed on my lips. "Yeah Jas your right it’s a new beginning. I just have to relax. I guess it's the new school that’s got me thrown out of balance." "Well once you meet my crew you and Jazz you'll never dread school again. Well except the hole having to work part." Turning the corner to the next street it was a little less crowded. It was mostly filled with warehouse looking buildings and small shops. "Everyone is ready to meet you." He said trying to break my silence. "What did you tell them about me?" "Not much just that you’re my female cousin was enough for the guys." I cracked a little smile. Jason stopped and turned facing an alleyway. "What are you doing?" He looked both directions and put his hand on my lower back ushering me forward. "Jas...” "SHHH." I closed my mouth and trusted my older cousin. I have trusted him this far right. He stopped in front of a back door and knocked three times. A little slot slid open and two eyes stared at Jason. Jason raised his sleeve and reviled a tattoo in some kind of Celtic symbol. The eyes cut to me. "She's with me. She is family." The slot slammed closed and the door opened. A big guy came out probably late twenties with huge muscles the size of my head. He had a scar from his left eye to his jaw. He smiled and stepped back letting us in. Jason turned to the man and they began to speak. I took note of my surroundings. It looked like an abandoned where house. But I knew if Jason came here there was more than meets the eye. "So this is the girl you been talking about?" I turned to face the man a blush spread across my cheeks. But surprisingly his smile was warm. I smiled back shyly. "Yep, this is my baby cousin Riley." Jason stated. "Halva name for a girl kid." The man laughed. “But any family of J's is a friend of the gangs. The others are up stairs." "Thanks Mac." Jason said. "Nice to meet you!" I called out as Jason took my hand pulling me behind him up a set of stairs. I heard loud hip hop music playing in the background. Opening the door at the top of the stairs he ushered me inside. The bass thrummed and the lights were bright. The room was colorful with chairs and couches. Carpets, but not new. They were defiantly used but it gave it a homey appearance. There were only five people there but Jason said on a night or a party there could be over a hundred. There were two guys on the smooth concrete looking dance floor dancing to the beat. There moves were amazing. I danced to hip hop but nothing like that before. There was another guy on the couch sitting next to a girl. The boy had his head in the girls lap and he was drawing a picture on a sketch pad. The girl had blonde hair and big blue eyes. Her hair had black tips and her bangs covered one eye. She was a little chubby but in a cute way and she was cute pixie like girl. Next there was another guy with his head stuck under the hood of a mustang. "Hey guys well I told you I'd have a beauty in the building today." Jason said slinging his arm around my shoulder. One of the boys on the dance floor grabbed a remote and flipped the volume down. "Well well well… What do we have here?" The boy didn't look anything like a gang type of person. He had short brown hair spiked up in all different directions and a really skinny figure. He looked like Austin could take him in a fight. The other guy was the complete opposite. Dark skin black hair cut close. He like the guy down stairs looked like he could snap me like a twig. The guy drawing came up behind them. He was short but Muscular and had a crooked nose like it had been broken in a fight. "Gentlemen this is Riley. Riley these are a few of my friends." He slapped the nerdy looking one on the shoulder. "Cleabe, " The dark skinned guy. "Jay," then the short guy. "and that’s Tyler." "Well, Jason you didn't tell us your cousin was such a lovely, lovely lady." Cleabe stated lifting my hand and kissing it giving me a wink. "Uh..." "Knock it off Cleabe she's off limits until I say so." Cleabe covered his had with his heart. "Why Jason I’m offended you think I would put the move on your dear sweet innocent cousin." "You'd put the moves on a female dog if it breathed." Tyler muttered. "Leave the poor girl alone she probably only dates guys like me any way." He flexed. The girl shoved her way between the men. "Okay, I think Riley has had enough of the Neanderthal show. I'm Jazz me and you will be in the same grade." She smiled and took my hand pulling me towards the couch and sitting. Leaving the men to talk amongst themselves. "Are the uh, Guy's always like this?" Jazz laughed. "Nah, you get used to it but there all pretty okay. They just like to scare new girls." I breathed out a sigh of relief. "So Jason tells me you like to dance and play sports. Any interest in trying out for the volleyball team?" "Yeah I was hopping are they any good? My team back in Colorado took state three years in a row." "Well were best in our district but we haven’t won a state title yet. Were pretty good this year though so there’s hope. "She said with a smile."Good, Maybe I’ll try out then. So is this a club or a house. Dose dome one live here?" "Well it depends. Some time's I sleep here when my parents fight. Or the guys will sleep here every now and then when they part too hard. But this is the gangs’ main base. There’s a lot more of us but most only come at night when Raider opens the club." "Raider? Is he like the boss of the hole gang or something?" "Raider." Jazz nodded to the guy with his back to us head still under the hood of the car. "Owns the building. How? I don’t know. He lives here. He has money but he doesn’t talk about how he got it. He doesn’t talk about where he came from either. He just showed up here one day and opened this place made a few connections. As for the boss, no but he is a bigger up player than your cousin. “Jazz whispered.”He's good guys though don’t worry. He's just having a bad day and being very anti-social. ““I heard that Jazz." A muffled voice boomed from under the hood. "Behave or I won’t get you your ice cream you love so much." The voice joked. "Awww, you wouldn't deprive me of my favorite things you love me too much." She crooned. There was a muffled curse word from under the hood. "Language language Raider." Jazz made a tsk tsk sound. Smiling I turned to her. "So you never did answer is this place a club?" I asked Jazz. "Well, The downstairs is there’s another door your go through though. This is the living area or our little fun room." She gestured to the pool table and TV, small kitchen and bathroom in the other room. "If someone's in trouble Raider usually lets us stay here. There’s always someone at the door and if not you have to have a key or use the hidden intercom and call Raider. I'll show it to you later." Jazz pointed to a door on the other side of the room. "That’s the stairs to the next level. You have to have a key though a different one. Blaine doesn't like people up there. That’s his apartment." I nodded. "If that doors unlocked or open still don’t go up there Blaine will chew your butt out." "Got it." I said. "So what’s the school like?"....
Me and Jazz chatted for a bit. I knew me and her would become good friends. I didn't even realize that there was no one here but Jazz and I. Well except Blaine but i haven’t seen his face yet. Noticing my confusion Jazz laughed. "He sent me a txt said he would be back in fifteen minutes. Had some guys down town needed to be taken care of." I nodded. It was hard to think of my cousin as some big bad gangster dude after all he has done for me. But of course he would never let his baby girl cousin see that side of himself. Footsteps running up the stairs and the door bursting open made us both turn in surprise. A boy about six-two stood in the doorway. And boy was he handsome. He had short blonde hair that fell over his deep brown eyes. He had a nice body and broad shoulders. Full lips defiantly kissable. His eyes narrowed as he scanned the room. They fell on me and widened in surprise. "Jazz, Raider. Where’s Cornelia?" Jazz snickered. "Lost her again Mason?" His gaze stayed on me but his remarks were to Jazz. "Have you seen her?" "No she hasn't been here all day Mason." A deep voice came out of nowhere. Whirling around towards the mustang Raider had finally come out of hiding. I thought Mason was handsome but, Raider. He looked sexy dangerous and handsome. He had short black hair tousled up to look like he just got out of bed. He had blazing bright blue eyes strong jawed. His skin was tan like maybe he had some Italian in him. He was lean and muscled. His shirt clung to every muscle and showed its defined shape. He was tall like Mason and broad shoulders. His jeans road low on his hips and his lips.... defiantly kissable. Had I now been shocked at the fact he came out from beneath the car my jaw would have hit the floor. Why did I dress like crap today? The day two total hotties come into play. Mason took a few steps into the room. His eyes roaming over my body and face. I blushed as he spoke to me. "Hello, you must be Riley. Jason talks a lot about you." "H-hello." I stammered. Raider was looking at me two but not like the way mason was. He looked at me and took in my nervous expression and his eyes soffend a bit. I relaxed slowly as he gave me a slight nod. Mason came across the room and stuck out his hand. "Mason, Mason Marks. Pleasure to meet you Riley." Raider rolled his eyes at his formality. Jazz just sat back watching the three of us smiling at my dumbfounded expression. Raider's eyes went to my hand still in Mason's and he cleared his throat. "Your girlfriend, as you can see mason is not here. I won’t have you bursting into my place scarring the women and making things uncomfortable. So I'm goanna ask you once to leave." Mason as if pulled out of a trance straightened. "Look Raider I know since you moved up in the ranks Cornelia has been over here a lot you stay away from my girl stone." Mason said turning to Raider. Tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife. "Why would I want your girl she obviously has no taste." Warning bells went off in my head that this was goanna get ugly. Jazz spoke up. "Look Mason just let her go she's not here." He turned his gaze on us. Jazz froze under his stare. A hard male body stepped between me and Jazz and Mason. "I'm not asking Mason. I'm telling. Leave now and leave the girls alone." Raider’s voice became rougher and darker. Mason glared at him turning on his heel and left. Not even twenty seconds later Jason came through the door not looking happy. He nodded at me. "Riley were leaving in five mints." He jerked his head towards the corner and Raider fallowed. They were speaking in hushed tones. Jason looked over at me and smiled softly. "What’s going on?" I asked Jazz. "Beats me but from the look on the guys’ faces there may be a problem with another gang. There may be a fight." She whispered. Jason stood at the door. "Riley." He called impaciently the door. I stood to fallow. "Meet me in front of the school tomorrow and I’ll show you to your first class and stuff." Jazz said grabbing my arm. "Later girl." I smiled and nodded. "See you later Jazz."
Down the stairs and outside I was surprised to see it was dark. I didn't like big cities and dark. They didn't mix but Jason seemed confident enough so I followed. Up ahead two teenagers stood waiting at the end of the block. "Um… Jason?" "Hmmm?" "Those guys up there don't look to nice maybe we should take another direction." I said the fear in my voice evident. "You trust me Riley? You know I'd never let anyone hurt you Malenʹkaya printsessa." "I know." We were approaching the two boys. Jason gave them a slight nod and passed them with me at his tail. The boys turned following us. "Jason..." "It's okay Riley." The rest of the walk to my apartment was in silence. The two boys still following at a distance. Jason nodded and the two stepped forward. “Riley this is Axel and David." He said nodding at the two boys who were about my age. "They go to school with you and will be there if you need anything. If something goes wrong and you can't get a hold of me find one of them. Understand? You will see them a lot around this neighborhood there some friends of mine. There safe got it?" I looked at Jason. Was he saying they are like my body guards? Oh boy. "Now go upstairs your aunt Vive is waiting. Get some dinner and sleep I’ll be here to walk you to school tomorrow so you don’t get lost." Jason said and kissed my forehead. "Night little sister." "Night Jas." I said hugging him and starting up the steps to my new home.